Vegetable lasagna’s have been a favourite of mine since the 90’s when I was single, living in Vancouver, and involved in weekly office potlucks. Then I moved to Calgary, got hitched, had kids, and well settled down with a prominently meat eating family. These days lasagna’s in our house have some form of meat in them, and husband advises he “misses” the meat when it’s not there. Extraordinary one can actually miss the meat, but who am I to judge.
Recently I was offered a challenge by Catelli to create a Gluten Free Lasagna using their new Gluten Free Lasagne noodles, a first-of-its-kind pasta made from a delicious blend of four grains; white rice, brown rice, corn and quinoa. I knew I wanted to bring vegetarian lasagne back into the routine, so I went for it.
Lasagna noodles have sure evolved over the years. I remember making lasagna, and having to boil the noodles first. What a treat that was. When oven ready noodles came out I did the happy dance. The Catelli® Gluten Free Lasagne noodles are also an oven-ready noodle that does not need to be boiled or cooked beforehand. It’s the little things like this that appeal so much to a busy life style.
Additionally Catelli has a delicious line of Gluten Free Pastas including Penne, Fusilli, Macaroni, Spaghetti, and recently launched Linguine. Their Gluten Free Lasagne noodle has been voted by consumers as a 2015 Best New Product Award winner.
After sampling this lasagna, I can tell you first hand you wouldn’t know it was gluten free pasta – it’s delicious. In fact I tested it on our vegetarian baby sitter, and she loved it. She had no clue it was gluten free. These noodles are available at all major retailers across Canada, in the pasta aisle.
I did something I’ve never done before when making lasagna, I topped it with a little smoked cheese. The distinct hint of smokiness elevates this lasagna to a whole new level. While this recipe may have a few extra steps, it’s well worth it.
- ½ yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled & minced
- ½ - 28oz can crushed san marzano tomatoes
- ½ tsp sugar
- ½ tsp dried basil
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 2 firm, medium zucchini
- 1 leek, cleaned & sliced (white parts only)
- 2 cups mushrooms, cleaned & sliced
- 1 ½ cups sundried tomatoes (dry pack, not in oil)
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 cups fresh ricotta
- 2 cups mozzarella, grated
- ½ cup parmesan, grated
- 1 pkg frozen spinach, thawed & drained
- 3-4 cups fresh spinach
- 1 cup provolone, sliced thin or grated
- 1 tbsp fresh oregano
- ½ cup smoked gouda, grated
- 1 - 250 gram box Catelli Gluten Free Lasagna
- Add 1 tbsp oil to sauce pan over medium high heat. Add onion and sauté 3-4 minutes. Toss in garlic and cook for one minute ensuring garlic doesn’t burn. Add crushed tomatoes, sugar, basil, and season with salt & pepper. Allow to simmer for minimum 15 minutes while you prepare other ingredients.
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Slice zucchini crosswise ¼ inch thick. Set onto parchment lined baking sheet, drizzle on some olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and roast for 10 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.
- In a sauce pan over medium high heat add 2 tbsp olive oil swirling around pan. Sauté your leeks for 2 minutes. Add mushrooms stirring regularly for 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and let cook an additional 4-5 minutes. Turn off heat.
- Put sundried tomatoes in a bowl. Pour boiling water over just enough to cover. Let sit to soften for 3-4 minutes and drain. Mix 1 tbsp oil with 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar in a bowl. Add your softened tomatoes and stir. Marinate at room temperature for at least 20 minutes. Blend in mixer or with immersion blender until consistency is spreadable.
- Combine the ricotta with 1 cup mozzarella, the parmesan, and a pinch of salt & pepper.
- Mix together your fresh & frozen spinach in a bowl. Set aside.
- Spread half of the tomato sauce on the bottom of a 9x9 baking dish, and layer on your zucchini. Place 4-5 of your noodles (breaking up to fit if necessary) on top and carefully spread on half of your ricotta mixture. Sprinkle on your fresh oregano, and top with your mushrooms and leeks. Lay down another layer of noodles. Spread on your sundried tomato mixture, top it with the rest of your ricotta, and finally your spinach. Add a layer of noodles. Spread the rest of your sauce over all the noodles evenly. Sprinkle on your mozzarella and provolone cheese. Finish with your smoked gouda evenly distributing.
- Cover the lasagna with greased parchment and wrap with foil. Bake for about 30 minutes, uncover and let cook another 15 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes, cut and serve.